Tag Archives: whitney bond

WhitneyBond.com Rebranding Party Recap

Whitney Bond with Instagram Photo Frame

Last week I celebrated the new WhitneyBond.com in style by hosting an official rebranding party downtown San Diego!

A HUGE thank you to the 300+ guests that attended the event including the real MVP, my Mom 😉 , Claudia Sandoval (winner of MasterChef, you go girl!), Dining Out Magazine, Where San Diego and tons of my loyal, supportive and amazing friends!

Read the full post here!

On The Front Porch Interview

WhitneyBond.com Blogoversary Photo Shoot

{Photo by Stacy Keck Photo}

As I prepare for the official WhitneyBond.com Rebranding Party tomorrow night, I felt like this was the perfect time to get to know a little more about me!

I recently became part of the Porch.com blogger program and they were nice enough to include me in their “On The Front Porch” blogger interview series!

Read the full post here!

Little Leopard Book Turns 3!

Whitney Bond Little Leopard Book 3 Year Blogoversary Photo Shoot

For the first time in almost 2 years I’m blogging on Little Leopard Book about something other than food, I’m actually blogging about blogging!

Today, I’m celebrating the 3 year blogoversary of Little Leopard Book. It was three years ago today that I was sitting on my couch in LA, when I opened my laptop and wrote this first post.

A three sentence post, that began a journey that has changed my life forever.

Read the full post here!

My Day With Grokker

Whitney's Christmas Party Cooking Special

I’m so excited to announce that I have officially entered the Grokker family as the sites newest cooking expert!

Back in November I spent a day with the crew filming “Whitney’s Christmas Party“, a series of six Christmas cooking videos.

Read the full post here!

Purchase The “Buffalo Style” Cookbook

Buffalo Style Cover

After thousands of copies sold, the “Buffalo Style” cookbook is no longer in print.

Check out dozens of “Buffalo Style” recipes on the blog to get your buffalo sauce fix!


 

 

Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

This Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash recipe combines a risotto style mushroom barley stuffed in an acorn squash and topped with seasonal vegetables!

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Before the New Year I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and cooking with Chef Dustin Beckner of Quality Social, Downtown San Diego.

I had the idea to incorporate “Chef Inspired Dishes” into the blog a few months before and after working with Quality Social on several Boys & Girls Club Events, like the Scavenger Hunt this summer, I was able to set up an interview with their extremely talented chef.

I’ve broken the two dishes we cooked together into two different posts, so here is the first “Chef Inspired Dish” recipe for Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash. Also check out the Roasted Chicken recipe here!

Here’s a shot of the ingredients at Quality Social and my ingredients at home.  I was able to pick up a couple of ingredients from Suzie’s Farm at the Little Italy Mercato this weekend, which Chef Dustin mentioned is where they get a lot of their produce!

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Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp basil oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts (steamed)
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet.

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Place in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes.

If you have trouble cutting the squash in half via either strength of arm or power of knife (I think my problem was a little bit of both 😉 )  then place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.

Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.  While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.

Add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)

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Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.

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While preparing the barley, put your multi-tasking pants on and prepare the vegetables.

Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

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At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish!

For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top, then you’re ready to dig in!

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This was my version of the dish prepared at home!

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And this was Chef Dustin’s version that I photographed at Quality Social after he prepared it for me!

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Hopefully I made him proud with my re-creation of his delicious seasonal vegetarian dish!

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risotto style barley, mushroom barley, stuffed squash, barley squash, vegetable stuffed squash, winter vegetables, vegetarian dish, recipes, food

5 from 1 vote
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Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

This Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash recipe combines a risotto style mushroom barley stuffed in an acorn squash and topped with seasonal vegetables!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people
Calories 377 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp basil oil divided
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots sliced
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts steamed
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Instructions

  1. Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet.

  2. Place into a 350°F oven for 25 minutes.

  3. If you have trouble cutting the squash in half place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.
  5. Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. 

  6. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.

  7. Add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)

  8. Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.
  9. While preparing the barley, also prepare the vegetables in another skillet.

  10. Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. 

  11. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. 

  12. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

  13. At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish.
  14. For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Turkey is brined in white wine, rubbed with spices, roasted in the oven, then glazed with cranberry sauce in this cranberry glazed turkey breast recipe.

Cranberry Turkey Breast

I was lucky enough to travel back to my home town in Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family this year.

Whitney Bond, family, little leopard book, christmas, oklahoma

We had a wonderful time and even got a little snow!

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My good friend Michael and adopted member of our family had this amazing apron custom-made for me!

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It definitely got me excited to go in the kitchen and prepare our Christmas feast, which included this delicious Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast!!

I made this dish on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago along side my Herb Crusted Turkey Breast and my Mom loved it so much that she specifically requested it for Christmas dinner!

Although you do have to brine it the night before, it’s still super simple to make and only takes about 30 minutes of actual work time to prepare the brine, rub the turkey and make the glaze!

Turkey Breast Brining Ingredients

Ingredients (brine)

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 lb. boneless turkey breast

onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt, paprika, spices

Ingredients (rub)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme

cranberries, orange juice, brown sugar, triple sec, ingredients, recipe

Ingredients (cranberry glaze)

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange flavor liqueur

Combine all of the brining ingredients in a large container, then place the turkey breast in the brine and place into the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the turkey in the morning and pat dry, then brush with olive oil.

Next, combine the spice rub in a small bowl.

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Rub the spices over the turkey and place in a baking dish. Roast the turkey in a 375° oven for one hour.

In the meantime, prepare the cranberry glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait for the cranberries to begin bursting, then stir well and allow the glaze to simmer over low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey, Turkey Breast, Cranberry Glaze, Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Turkey, Cranberry Turkey Breast Recipe

Strain the glaze with a mesh strainer.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey, Turkey Breast, Cranberry Glaze, Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Turkey, Cranberry Turkey Breast Recipe

Glaze the turkey breast with a basting brush using the strained cranberry glaze.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey, Turkey Breast, Cranberry Glaze, Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Turkey, Cranberry Turkey Breast Recipe

Serve the strained cranberries on the side as a cranberry sauce for guests to top their turkey with, if so desired!

Place on a platter with a sprig of thyme and a few whole cranberries for a beautifully presented dish!

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is so flavorful, moist and scrumptious!

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Hope everyone had a delicious, fun, happy and memorable holiday season!

Thanks to Emeril Lagasse for the original inspiration for this recipe!

A boneless Turkey Breast is brined in a combination of white wine, orange juice and ginger, then rubbed with spices including paprika, thyme, oregano and garlic powder. The turkey is then roasted in the oven and glazed with a combination of cranberries, brown sugar and triple sec.
5 from 1 vote
Print

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Turkey is brined in white wine, rubbed with spices, roasted in the oven, then glazed with cranberry sauce in this cranberry glazed turkey breast recipe.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Brining Time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 354 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Brine

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 lb boneless turkey breast

Rub

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme

Cranberry Glaze

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ¼ cup ginger chopped
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the brining ingredients in a large container, then place the turkey breast in the brine and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove the turkey in the morning and pat dry, then brush with olive oil.
  3. Combine the spice rub in a small bowl.
  4. Rub the spices over the turkey and place in a baking dish.
  5. Roast the turkey in a 375°F oven for one hour.

  6. Prepare the cranberry glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Wait for the cranberries to begin bursting, then stir well and allow the glaze to simmer over low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  8. Strain the glaze with a mesh strainer.
  9. Glaze the turkey breast with a basting brush using the strained cranberry glaze.
  10. Serve the strained cranberries on the side as a cranberry sauce for guests to top their turkey with.
  11. Place on a platter with a sprig of thyme and a few whole cranberries.

Arizona Taco Festival, ¡Olé!’

El Hefe, Scottsdale, Arizona, Taco Festival, Zebra, Whitney Bond, Amy Black

The highlight of my weekend in Phoenix was most definitely the Third Annual Arizona Taco Festival. I love nothing more than the combination of tacos, margaritas, outdoor daytime festivals… and the occasional fake mustache!

Whitney Bond, fake mustaches, girls with fake mustaches, El Hefe Tent, Arizona Taco Festival

The event brought together the delicious taco makings of more than 40 local restaurants, bars and food trucks in and around Phoenix. Along with tacos came music, tequila tastings and sombreros a plenty!

Amy Black, Arizona Taco Festival, Sombreros, girl in sombrero, mexican clothing

This sombrero was won by a very nice man in a pepper eating contest, we found him after the contest and stole his hat… just kidding!  We just borrowed it for a pic!  The lovely lady modeling the hat is my friend Amy Black.

We started the day with Duck Mole Tacos topped with Guacamole and Jalapeños from El Hefe.

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You know that old saying, “save the best for last”, well I think we reversed it because this was my favorite taco of the day!

Although the next taco came in at a close second, it was the lobster taco from Chelsea’s Kitchen.

lobster tacos, chelsea's kitchen, scottsdale, phoenix, arizona taco festival, food, tacosBig chunks of lobster with avocado, tomato salsa and shredded lettuce = yum!

I’m not going to lie.  We didn’t have one taco throughout the day that I didn’t love!

Next, was the shredded beef taco from El Santo topped with fresh tomato salsa, arugula and cheese.

fresh tomato salsa, arugula, shredded beef, beef taco, El Santo, Scottsdale, Arizona Taco FestivalThe flavor of the beef was incredible!

Lastly was the chicken taco at La Hacienda.

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La Hacienda was all-the-buzz at the festival, with everyone insisting we try their chicken tacos.  The tacos were topped with salsa verde, crema and cheese. They definitely lived up to their buzz, La Hacienda brought home “Reserve Grand Champion” in the taco competition for the third year in a row!

Before departing the delicious festival we did what we do best and found a photo booth!

Amy Black, Whitney Bond, Photo Booth, Arizona Taco Festival, Sombreros, Girls in Sombreros, Girls in Photobooth

This event is now on the calendar as an annual must attend!  See you next year Phoenix!

 

Single Sunday: Buffalo Salmon Burger Salad

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients

On the One Year Anniversary of the blog I made the announcement that I would be adding “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” and “Single Sundays” to the site.

While “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” have been going strong, “Single Sundays” have yet to make an appearance on the blog.  I blame this on the fact that I cook like an Italian grandma (meals for 6 or more people!) and I’ve been busy, busy, busy!

But never fear, Single Sundays are here!

This week I whipped up a dish that was quick, delicious and easily prepared for one!

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Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 salmon burger
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 sliced red onion
  • 1/2 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing

Place the salmon burger in a small skillet over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.

buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients, food, salmonFlip the burger and brush with half of the buffalo sauce.

buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients, food, salmonCook for 3-4 minutes then flip again and brush with the remaining buffalo sauce.

Remove from the heat and prepare the salad by combining the lettuce, tomatoes and onion.

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, saladToss with the blue cheese dressing then place the salad mixture on a plate.

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredientsTop with the salmon burger and dig in!

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredientsThis makes for the perfect lunch or dinner for one filled with Omega 3 “happy” fatty acids from the salmon!

Romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, buffalo sauce, franks red hot buffalo sauce, blue cheese, blue cheese dressing, salmon burger, recipe, ingredients

Salmon burgers can be found fresh or frozen in most major grocery stores.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini

If you’re like me, one of your favorite parts of Fall is all the pumpkin goodness that starts popping up around this time of year, including the ever-so-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

In this martini I combine Pumpkin Pie Vodka with Coffee Liquor for a martini that is sure to give you that boost you love from a latte with a little kick from the vodka!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Martini Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1 martini)

  • 2 shots pumpkin pie vodka
  • 2 shots coffee liqueur
  • dash ground ginger
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well.

Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers and serve with cinnamon stick to garnish.

Fall Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail

This is the perfect after-dinner drink for a cool fall night or sipping cocktail at a Halloween party!

Pumpkin Coffee Martini

Bacon, Stilton Apricot Cheese Stuffed Honey Glazed Pork Chops

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At my girls wine and cheese party a couple of weeks back I stumbled upon my new favorite cheese, Stilton Apricot.  I drizzled little bites of this amazing cheese with honey and paired it with chopped dates for the perfect bite!

After that night, I knew I had to do something with this amazing combination of ingredients. The simple thing to do would be to fill the dates with the cheese, wrap them in bacon and drizzle them with honey, very similar to the Bacon Wrapped Dates I prepare on a regular basis.  But that was too easy.

I knew I wanted to incorporate bacon into the ingredient list and what goes better with pork than… more pork.  That was when I decided to glaze pork chops with honey, then stuff them with the delicious mixture of Stilton Apricot cheese, chopped dates and bacon.

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The result was a completely amazing lunch for me and my friend Ruby!

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Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 4 slices bacon (fried until crisp and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Stilton apricot cheese

Start by glazing the pork chops. The video below will guide you with step by step instructions.

After 15 minutes in the oven, remove, flip the pork chops and baste with the rest of the honey glaze.

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While the pork chops are in the oven, prepare the stuffing mixture in a small bowl by combining the dates, bacon and cheese. I also drizzled an additional tsp of honey into the mix to help bind the ingredients and for a little extra honey flavor!

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Once the pork chops have been basted with the honey glaze on both sides and cooked for 15 minutes each remove them from the oven and place on a cutting a board.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, cutting board

Allow to cool enough to handle or use a pair of tongs to hold the pork chop in place while slicing through the center to stuff. Slice the pork chop through the middle while keeping the edges in tact..

Stuffed Pork Chops, how to, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skilletStuff with the bacon, cheese mixture.

stuffed pork chops, Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, dates, bacon, stilton cheesePlace the pork chops back into the cast iron skillet and into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly melted.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, stilton apricot cheese, stuffed pork chops, bacon, datesRemove the pork chops from the skillet. Heat the honey glaze in the bottom of the skillet on the stove top over high heat to reduce.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, cast iron skillet, honey, balsamic vinegar, reduction, glazeOnce the glaze comes to a boil and reduces by half, brush the mixture on top of the pork chops and serve.

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, datesThere was extra cheese and bacon mixture leftover, so I put a little on top, there can never be too much cheese and bacon!

Honey Glazed Pork Chops, recipe, food, honey glaze, pork chops, stuffed pork chops, stilton apricot cheese, bacon, dates, balcony, lemonade, presentationThese were the most juicy and flavorful pork chops I’ve ever eaten and made for a perfect lunch paired with sautéed kale and fresh lemonade!

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The Goat Milking Adventures of a City Girl

Pulling up to the Caprino Royale farm is like pulling into an adult petting zoo. We were greeted at the door with a glass of wine, excited doggies, chickens running everywhere, cock-a-doodle-doing roosters and a 10 day old baby goat.

Now that is my kind of welcoming!

Although I grew up in Oklahoma, we were definitely more city folk than country folk, there were no goats, cows, pigs or roaming buffaloes in our back yard.

The closest thing we had to wildlife were some goldfish I bought at Walmart!

When I started planning my “Summer Blogging Adventure” I knew I wanted to take some time in Oklahoma and Texas to see where the meat and dairy I was consuming came from.

I was given my first opportunity to do so when I met Eric Tippit. I knew it was meant to be, when he told me his farm was named after the James Bond movie Casino Royale. My name is Whitney Bond y’all! Eric invited me out to his farm and the rest is goat milking history!

It’s amazing how much your level of appreciation for food rises after visiting a farm. There are about 1,000 components that go into making that little block of goat cheese for your favorite dish.

From feeding the goats to milking the goats to turning that milk into cheese and the hundred things that come in-between each one, these farmers are working around the clock, 365 days out of the year to make the cheese we all love so much!

At Caprino Royale, husband and wife team Eric and Karen are taking things to a whole new level with the time and love they give to their goats.

As a consumer of food, we should all know where our food is coming from and what we’re putting in our bodies.

I believe in eating meat and dairy, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan.  With that said, I do believe in buying local meat and dairy from farmers that treat their animals with love and respect.  I believe you can taste the love put into the animals, just how you can taste the love I put into all of the dishes I create! And if love is a key ingredient in great cheese, than Caprino Royale may just have the best cheese out there!

Each goat is called by name and fed and milked individually twice a day, yeah that’s 24 goats each given individual love and attention = 5 hours of milking and feeding a day!

That’s 35 hours per week, that’s 1,825 hours per year, just for the milking and feeding, we haven’t even gotten to the actual cheese making yet!

While I was at the farm they let me attempt to milk one of the goats… and this happened!

Well now that we’ve all had a good laugh for the day, lets meet some of my farm favorites!

This little guy was only 10 days old and so sweet!

He was so cute and playful, I could have just hung with him all day and been so happy… but he needed his rest!

While he rested, the other kids came to play!

And for my favorite picture of the day…

Thank you so much to Karen and Eric for introducing me to all the goats and a special thanks to Cachet the goat for allowing me to attempt my first goat milking experience on her!

#54 Attend an NBA Playoff Game

What an exciting moment, the first check off the bucket list, and I couldn’t imagine a better one to start with!

As I flew back to my hometown of Edmond, Oklahoma on Sunday evening, my good friend and fellow crazed sports fan, Bradie, booked a plane ticket  for her first trip to the great state of Oklahoma to help me complete my first bucket list item!

She flew in Monday morning and the first item of business was well under way, get that girl some Thunder gear! Five shirts later, my Mom, myself and Bradie all had new Thunder gear for the game that night!

I ended up wearing four different Thunder shirts throughout the day! (Can you say wardrobe change much?!)

Following the Thunder shirt shopping spree Bradie and I headed straight for my favorite restaurant in OKC, Ted’s Cafe Escondido for the best frozen sangria I’ve ever had!

We then headed down to “Thunder Alley” which takes place before and during all Thunder games directly in front of the stadium. They have bounce houses and games for kids, plenty of photo ops and of course mingling with fellow Thunder fans!

After meeting up with some friends, getting our tickets and pre-gaming, it was time to Thunder Up, and they don’t call it “Loud City” for nothing!  The stadium was rocking all night!

I have to say that it is SO fun to be the fan of a team whose city is behind them 110%, you can barely go a block in OKC right now without seeing a Thunder flag, shirt, banner or painted building supporting the team!

Thunder pulled out a huge win over the Lakers to win the Round Two series 4:1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

I am so excited that I actually get to check this bucket list item off TWICE because my good friend Garrick is taking me to Game 3 in OKC on Thursday night! Can’t wait to Thunder Up again in Loud City!

This also means I need another Thunder shirt… or 4 😉

90 in 90 Bucket List

What would a summer adventure be without a summer bucket list? How about a bucket list that includes 90 items to be completed in 90 days? Well that would be my list!

Included with my recipes, interviews and adventures from the summer, I’ll also be giving bucket list updates!

Let me know if you want to get involved and help me start crossing off my list!! (I’m gonna need it!)

  1. Complete the “food list challenge” (I’m at 68 66 of 100 right now!)
  2. Do a mud run (completed 5/26/12)
  3. Interview a chef in each of these ↑ cities
  4. Attend Taste of Chicago
  5. Surpass the 1000 follower mark on Twitter
  6. Host my own cooking show
  7. Meet Taylor Swift (don’t front, she’s awesome!)
  8. Go skydiving
  9. Attend a Red Sox game at Fenway Park (completed 7/8/12)
  10. Swim with dolphins
  11. Volunteer with WWOOF
  12. Cook with Giada De Laurentiis
  13. Appear on the Today Show
  14. Stomp grapes
  15. Have a pint at Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago
  16. See a live jazz band in New Orleans
  17. Fly on a Private Jet (completed 5/29/12)
  18. Visit a pig farm
  19. Meet the man, the myth, THE BOB STOOPS
  20. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field
  21. Watch the Thunder become the NBA Champions ( saving this one for next year!)
  22. Take Mom Jet-skiing
  23. Go Zip-lining
  24. Make Someones Day
  25. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge
  26. Go to the top of the Space Needle
  27. Interview Jamie Oliver
  28. Eat deep dish in Chicago
  29. Donate toys to a children’s hospital
  30. Catch a fish
  31. Go horseback riding on the beach
  32. Spend a day with Giuliana Rancic
  33. Learn how to play the guitar
  34. Go to a Chicago Blues Bar
  35. Start a college fund for my “nephew” Eli
  36. Ride in a hot air balloon
  37. Participate in a flash mob
  38. Make homemade ricotta cheese
  39. Ride in a helicopter
  40. Go hiking in the rainforest
  41. Eat a hot dog at the original Nathan’s on Coney Island (completed 6/30/12)
  42. Publish a cookbook
  43. Participate in a food eating contest
  44. Go shopping at Pike Place Market in Seattle
  45. Take a photography class
  46. Become a contributing food writer
  47. Re-connect with someone I haven’t seen in years
  48. Get a menu item named after me
  49. Make it on Times “Top 100 Blog List”
  50.  (completed 5/21/12)
  51. Crash a Wedding
  52. Have a picnic in Central Park (does an iced coffee count??)
  53. Help a friend in need
  54. Go snorkeling
  55. Have a video on YouTube “go viral”
  56. Become a New York Times Best Seller
  57. Volunteer to help build a home
  58. Enter a recipe in a contest
  59. Run a race with all the members of my immediate family
  60. Start a dance party somewhere random
  61. Take my “Nephew Neighbor” Jake on a day of fun (completed 5/30/12)
  62. Meet someone new every day
  63. Inspire someone
  64. Play with a monkey
  65. Get a stamp in my passport
  66. See a moose
  67. Go white water rafting
  68. Actually finish a book I start reading
  69. Kiss someone in the rain
  70. Get an agent
  71. Send someone flowers for no reason at all
  72. Compliment a stranger
  73. Volunteer for Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign
  74. Send a dozen greeting cards out to random friends
  75. Ride a bull (a real one, not a mechanical… been there, done that!)
  76. Take Becca to Miami
  77. Create an app for food bloggers
  78. Play “slip cup” (completed 7/7/12)
  79. Go rock climbing
  80. Buy a Polaroid camera
  81. Meet Toby Keith (Boomer Sooner!)
  82. Have a food fight
  83. Be in a parade
  84. Be part of a big Italian family dinner
  85. Make my brother a gluten-free birthday cake (completed 6/1/12)

Summer Adventure Travel Schedule

Following up from yesterdays post announcing my Summer Adventure Plan, this is my tentative summer schedule!

If I’m coming to a city near you, contact me!  If I should go somewhere that’s not on the schedule, let me know!  Tell me who to interview and what fun events are in your city, as well as where to eat and who to meet!

This post will be changing and evolving as I add new cities, events and interviews, so check back regularly to see what I’m up to!

May 19: Depart Los Angeles

May 19-20: San Diego, California

May 21-23: Edmond, Oklahoma

May 24-25: Dallas, Texas

May 26- June 7: Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Interviews: The stars of  YouTube video sensation “Beard Like Harden”
  • Events: June 1 – My Big Brothers 30th Birthday Celebration

June 8- June 10: Houston, Texas

June 11: Waco, Texas

  • Interviews: Caprino Royale Goat Farm

June 12 – 27: Edmond, Oklahoma

June 28- July 2: New York City, New York

July 3 – July 7: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts 

July 8- 11: Boston, Massachusetts

July 12-27: San Diego, California

  • Events: July 18 – Opening Day at the Races, Del Mar, CA

July 30-Aug 1: Los Angeles, California

Aug 2-19: San Diego, California